Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cold Reception for Proposed New Gun Bans

In the wake of Monday’s terrible events at Virginia Tech, all of the usual media outlets have been running pieces on gun control. Some of them seem to be floating the idea, like this article at MSNBC , but even while that article seems to advocate gun control it acknowledges that gun control has been a losing issue since 1994. Some of the media outlets have been posting editorials that have been downright acerbic as I discussed in yesterday’s blog entry. Many op/ed pages seem, such as the Oregonian, seem to be posting exclusively anti-gun views on their op-ed pieces, and I KNOW for a fact that they have received other opinions – I sent one in yesterday.

However, if you look deeper, most of the major media outlets (ABC, MSNBC, CNN) are also posting their infamous web polls on this topic. Now, I know that these polls are unscientific and self-motivated, but I do find it interesting that without exception every poll seems to indicate that there is NOT a desire for more gun control – many by substantial margins. For example, this poll at MSNBC asked

“The massacre at Virginia Tech is raising new questions about gun control. Do gun control laws need to be made tougher?”

The responses (both of which are push poll responses – which is at least semi-honest) are:

Yes. Unthinkable violence like this could be prevented by tougher gun control.


No. And if more people were allowed to carry concealed weapons, fewer people might have died.

When I last checked the poll a whopping 73% of the respondents answered NO!!!

Apparently some media outlets are picking up on the notion that concealed carry might have helped this situation. After printing an extremely anti-gun editorial this weekend where the author called for the repeal of the Second Amendment, The Roanoke Times published a far more cogent article by an actual Virginia Tech graduate student. The student holds a valid Virgina Concealed Carry Permit, and writes:

“Of all of the emotions and thoughts that were running through my head that morning, the most overwhelming one was of helplessness.

“That feeling of helplessness has been difficult to reconcile because I knew I would have been safer with a proper means to defend myself.

I would also like to point out that when I mentioned to a professor that I would feel safer with my gun, this is what she said to me, ‘I would feel safer if you had your gun.’”

The author goes on:

“I am qualified and capable of carrying a concealed handgun and urge you to work with me to allow my most basic right of self-defense, and eliminate my entrusting my safety and the safety of my classmates to the government.

“This incident makes it clear that it is time that Virginia Tech and the commonwealth of Virginia let me take responsibility for my safety.”

Virginia Tech students aren’t the only individuals making similar observations. David B. Kopel wrote an editorial for the Wall Street Journal making many similar observations. Mr. Kopel cited cases in Utah where a “gun free zone” could have turned into a similar killing field, but didn’t because an off duty police officer ignored the restriction. Kopel also cites the bill last year that would have allowed holders of CCW permits to carry on campus:

“Last year the Virginia legislature defeated a bill that would have ended the ‘gun-free zones’ in Virginia's public universities. At the time, a Virginia Tech associate vice president praised the General Assembly's action ‘because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.’ In an August 2006 editorial for the Roanoke Times, he declared: ‘Guns don't belong in classrooms. They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same.’"

Isn’t it amazing that every gun ban proposed from Dianne Feinstein on down is there to ensure people “feel safe”. That feeling of safety is a dangerous fiction, and we can ill afford putting more innocents in peril so the ignorant and naive can “feel safe”.

Until next time.

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